Woolworths stops credit option on Visa debit cards

Woolworths have removed the credit option for customers wishing to pay with Visa or MasterCard debit cards in its stores.

The move, which affects scheme debit cards issued by banks and credit unions that feature either the Visa or MasterCard logo, is a result of the retailer’s decision to divert all debit transactions via the EFTPOS network to save costs.

Customers with such cards will no longer be able to use the credit option when paying for items in Woolworths stores, which include Big W, BWS, Dan Murphys, Dick Smith, Tandy, Woolworths Petrol and Thomas Dux.

Instead, they will have to press the cheque or savings buttons to access their funds through the EFTPOS network.

Visa said it was "extremely disappointed" by the decision, adding that the move will reduce competition and make it harder for Aussies to compare debit cards in search of the best spending options.

Woolworths defended the action, however, claiming that by reducing its payment processing costs, it would be able to pass on savings to customers.

According to a recent study by the consumer advocate group Choice, Australian credit cards and are failing to meet the more customer-friendly standards that exist in the UK.

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